December 13

Ryan Harris ’07

Former Notre Dame football player Ryan Harris ’07 considers what unites all people of goodwill across religious and social backgrounds, especially within the Notre Dame family.

“While at Notre Dame and beyond, I have had wonderful conversations with others as we share aspects of our faith and belief in a place that respects all who seek after the truth of God. When I was a young recruit, Notre Dame was the only school who took me to visit a local mosque, assuring me that I would be able to find a spiritual home here. What does that say about our capabilities?”

So this Advent, as we interact with people of various faiths, those with questions or doubts, and all people of good will, may we consider the human bonds that unite us as we seek to understand both the mysteries of God and one another.


  1. Ryan-

    Thank you so much for sharing this story. I have told people about my belief that Notre Dame’s true Catholic mission is only enhanced by bringing all faiths together . Blessed to have know you as an athlete but most proud to see the Notre Dame Man you are today! Chuck Lennon would be so proud of you my friend!
    Blessed are we ….
    – Molly Lennon Anderson Class of 1992

  2. Thank you for sharing this story. As Notre Dame expands our diversity this ecumenical experience of genuine truth seeking is important to hold up and expand upon. Love these daily reflections

  3. This Sacred Story reminds me that there are many fruitful and varied spiritual paths. Respect for one another is paramount.

  4. Ryan,

    What a blessing our faith is that covers all traditions ! I loved your reflection and love the gift you are Ryan. Bless you and your family! Fr Jim Bracke csc

  5. How lucky are we to have had the opportunity to experience attending the University of our Mother? Many of these stories have moved me to tears while strengthening my faith; this was no exception. Thank you.

  6. Ryan, thank you for sharing your beautiful sacred story of how we can be united across faith traditions, as God intends, by focusing on our commonalities vs. our differences. I am proud to be affiliated with the University of Notre Dame, a place where people of all faiths are welcomed and embraced. May we all continue to be greatly blessed, as you and your family have been, through the welcoming spirit of Our Lady’s university. Thank you for your inspiring contribution to this Advent ministry.

  7. Thank you for sharing your beautiful story. I’m confidant that your beautiful spirit makes a difference to all you meet. The world needs more tolerance and compassion to encompass our differences.

  8. Thank you, Ryan. Beautiful story of how our beloved ND encourages the search for Truth!

    Many do not know that Our Lady is included in the Muslim Qur’an and might be the most revered female figure within Islam as well.

  9. Ryan, you are and have been a winner throughout your life. Your shared experience makes us proud to be part of the Notre Dame family in all its diversity. Thank you!

  10. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story, Ryan. How much the world hungers to have compassion and tolerance to see the common bond in our faith journey,,,no matter our faith tradition. You have provided a shining example with your story!

  11. Thank you for sharing! What a beautiful reflection. As others have said very moving and a reminder that if at Notre Dame we can be one family who celebrates all the love and beauty of what makes us the same as well as the gifts of what make us different too, there is hope for the world around us to do the same.

  12. Ryan: So true and helpful. Society and human rights have sure changed; however we always have one to rely on our entire life and beyond. Joe, ’66

  13. Ryan,
    Wow!…just – wow. What a tremendous story of Faith and Fellowship. In this ever-divided world of ours, testimonies such as yours are beacons of hope for a better future. Blessings upon you and your family.

  14. When our son married a Hindu I was struck by the similarities in the wedding vows, not the differences. That was a profound moment, as was hearing Ryan mention how the people at Notre Dame took him to the local mosque to assure him that a faith journey can take many paths. Thank you, Ryan, for sharing something intimate about your faith life.

  15. Thank you, Ryan. I appreciated your emphasis on the commonalities of people of good will and faith of all kinds. I’m glad to hear Notre Dame was a place you could experience that. It was beautiful, truly.

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